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by Matt Lofgren | Correspondent
Streetsboro -- Revenge is sweet.
The host Streetsboro boys basketball team avenged an early season loss to Portage Trail Conference Metro Division foe Coventry Feb. 1 at home with a convincing 77-48 victory.
The Comets earned a 68-59 victory over the Rockets Dec. 21 in Akron.
Showing the hometown fans just how far the team has come since the two teams' last meeting, Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini said he is proud his team for rebounding from losses against two key Metro Division opponents.
"We went into this week with Kent on Tuesday and Coventry Friday -- both teams that knocked us out first time around," he said. "Our guys were really up for it. We were really looking forward to this one, especially at home, as bad as they beat us down at their place and that's a good team."
Senior Brandon Gency, who knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 16 points for the Rockets (10-6, 9-2), said that as sweet as it was to avenge a loss, now the big picture of a Metro Division title comes to mind.
"We lost to them earlier in the season and that started a losing streak for us," Gency said. "So [Feb. 1] wasn't only a revenge game, but also a game to push us forward to winning a league title."
Putting forth a solid team effort, three other Streetsboro players ended the night with double-digit points totals. Paul Jenkins led the way with 18 points and Devin Rencher added 15 points. Jordan Matusik also contributed 12 points.
"We're playing so much better team basketball right now," Marcini said. "We had another four guys in double figures. We're sharing the ball; we're getting in on the break away. We're playing great defense now too, so we're just more of a team now than we were earlier on."
After getting off to a sluggish start to the game, the Rockets went on an 11-0 run that took the Comets out of their comfort zone. The Rockets led 19-6 after one quarter.
Claiming a 39-23 lead in the third, the Comets made a run to come within 11 of the Rockets. Calming the troops quickly, Marcini said his team needed to develop a "killer instinct" even with a big lead to finish teams off.
"Our third quarter has been our Achilles heel all year," he said. "I don't know if you can develop that killer instinct off the bat, but we've got to find away. If we're going to run this thing out and be where we need to be, we can't afford to give away balls in the middle of the game. We've been having great first quarters, great fourth quarters, but the second and third have been killing us."
Of course the Rockets, overcame the run by Coventry to lengthen the gap between the two teams. Streetsboro outscored the Comets 25-14 in the fourth quarter. Moving the ball inside and out effectively all game long, the three-pointer became a huge weapon in the Rockets' arsenal.
Gency said that the hoop looked wide open to him all game long.
"We've been shooting a lot of threes in practice," Gency said. "It just came for us. The hoop seemed like it was wide open for us tonight."
While Gency found success around the arc, Rencher was working the paint along with Jenkins and finding plenty of success against the Coventry defense.
Streetsboro was scheduled to host Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Feb. 5. Results were not available at press time.
The Rockets are set to visit Mogadore to play Metro Division rival Field Feb. 8 before returning home to play Poland Seminary Feb. 12. Both varsity contests are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.